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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Parent Forcing kids below 3 years to attend preschool an illegal act: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat High Court dismissed a number of petitions opposing the state government’s decision to set six years as the minimum age limit for Class 1 admission in the academic year 2023–2024, saying that forcing children under three to attend preschool is a “illegal act.” During the academic year 2023–2024, a group of parents of children who had not reached the age of six as of June 1, 2023, attempted to dispute the state government’s notification dated January 31, 2020 that set the age requirement for admission to Class 1.

The division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice N V Anjaria stated in a recent ruling that “forcing children to attend a preschool below the age of three years is an illegal act on the part of the parents who are petitioners before us.”

The Right to Education Act of 2009 was violated, and the petitioners “cannot seek any leniency as they are guilty of violation of the mandate of the Right to Education Rules, 2012,” it stated.

The court cited Rule 8 of the RTE Rules, 2012, which addresses the preschool admissions process, and stated that no preschool shall admit a kid who was under the age of three as of June 1 of the given year.

“A bare perusal of Rule 8 shows that there is a prohibition for admission of a child in a preschool who has not completed three years of age as on June 1 of the academic year.

A child is prepared to enroll in the first standard of a formal school after three years of “early childhood care and education” at a preschool, it stated.

The children whose parents filed the petition were enrolled in a preschool before they had reached the minimum age of three years set by the RTE Rules, 2012, which Gujarat began enforcing on February 18, 2012, according to the statement.

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